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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Clear proof that Shakyamuni Buddha is the Father and Nichiren Daishonin is the messenger.

The Daishonin is Bodhisattva Jogyo, disciple of the Eternal Original Buddha Shakyamuni.

"Since the Buddha of the Juryo chapter is revealed as the eternal Buddha, it follows that the great Bodhisattvas such as Monju and Miroku, and the great bodhisattvas from other realms are in fact disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. If, among all the numerous sutras, this Juryo chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun and moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in man. "(MW, V2, pg. 150)

"Since Sakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are His manifestations, then those great bodhisattvas converted by manifested Buddhas are also disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. If the "Life Span of the Buddha" chapter had not been expounded, it would be like the sky without the sun and moon, a country without a king, mountains and rivers without gems, or a man without a soul." (Noppa, pg. 176, Kaimoku Sho)

"Thus it was revealed that Shakyamuni had long been the Buddha since the eternal past, and it became clear that various Buddhas in other worlds were all manifestations of Shakyamuni Buddha..[ ] now, however, as Shakyamuni was proved to be the Eternal Buddha, those Buddhas in the Flower Garland Sutra, or Buddhas in the Hodo, Hannya, or Great Sun Buddha sutras all became subordinates of Shakyamuni Buddha." (Kaimoku Sho, p. 174, translated by Kyotsu Hori, 1987)

BTW, here's the same quote, as translated by NSIC. Please note the differences:

"When Shakyamuni Buddha revealed that he had gained enlightenment in the far distant past and had since then been constantly in the world, it became apparent that all the other Buddhas were emanations of Shakyamuni....but now it becomes apparent that Vairocana Buddha of the Kegon Sutra and various Buddhas of the Hodo, Hannya and Dainichi sutras are in fact all followers of Shakyamuni Buddha." (MW V.2, p.149)

"Since Shakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are His manifestations........" (Kaimoku Sho, translated by Kyotsu Hori, p.176).

"But now that it has become apparent that Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment countless aeons ago,.......etc. (MW V.2, p. 151)

Not only is there no mention of Nichiren as "True" Buddha in the Kaimoku Sho but in the Kanjin Honzon Sho, translated by Kyotsu Hori, nowhere, does Nichiren mention that he is the "True" Buddha:

"...Shakyamuni Buddha, within our minds, is an ancient Buddha without beginning, manifesting Himself in three bodies, he attained Buddhahood in the eternal past......(ibid. P.94)

"Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future. He exists forever, throughout the past, present and future." (P.100)

"Many wooden statues and portraits were made of Shakyamuni Buddha as He preached Hinayana and quasi-Mahayana sutras, but statues and portraits of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra were never made. Now, in the beginning of Mappo, is it not the time that such statues and portraits are made?" (P.104)

The Hoon Sho (translated by Taikyo Yajima) states:

"All the people in Japan as well as the rest of the whole world should revere Lord Buddha Shakyamuni revealed in the essential section (honmon) of the Lotus Sutra as the object of worship (honzon)." (P. 198)

The Lotus Sutra itself states:

"For the sake of curing his children gone mad,
Though in reality he exists, yet he says he dies,
And there are none who can declare it is a vain lie;
I likewise am the Father of the World,
The One who saves from the various sufferings and travails.
Because the unenlightened worldlings are wrongheaded,
Though in reality I exist, I say I am extinguished;
because by seeing me constantly,
They would produce an arrogant and licentious mind,
Self abandoned, attached to the five desires,
And would fall among the Evil ways of rebirth.
I ever know the masses of beings,
Proceeding or not proceeeding on the Way;
According to what will save them,
I preach for them all sorts of Dharmas.
I Myself ever form this thought:
'By what shall I cause the masses of beings
To be able to enter the supreme Way
And rapidly achieve Buddhahood."(Lotus Sutra, Chapter 16)

Now we can begin to examine how Nichiren viewed himself.

"...the Bodhisattvas (who sprang from underneath the ground), as described in the 15th chapter, are followers of the Original Buddha Shakaymuni who resides within our minds."(p.94)

" The object of veneration (Honzon) at the scene of this transmission of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo from the Eternal Buddha to his original disciples is suspended in the sky above the Eternal Buddha Sakyamuni's Saha-world. 

The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 16 states, "Then he sent a messenger back to his children, telling them that their father has passed away." In the Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren explains the phrase: ''send a messenger back", as those bodhisattvas who were called out from underground.

The SGI and Nichiren Shoshu argue that Nichiren Daishonin states in the Opening of the Eyes that, "I will be the Pillar of Japan; I will be the Eyes of Japan; I will be the Great Vessel of Japan, proving that Nichiren possesses the Three Virtues of the Original Buddha. But this is a mistake for the following reasons:

1). It can be contrasted to the following passage in the Kaimoku Sho where Nichiren states that Shakyamuni possesses the Three Virtues for "all beings" : "One should know that the Enlightened One, the Buddha, is a Great Teacher for all living beings, a Great Eye for them, a Great Pillar, a Great Helmsman, a Great Field of Plenty." (MW vol 2, Opening of the Eyes, pg 77)

2). The above passage of the Lotus Sutra states: "I am the Father of the world" [not just the little island nation of Japan].

3). Nichiren in many other Gosho explains that Shakyamuni is the parent, teacher and sovereign of the entire world (Admonitions Against Slander, Letter to Nikke, Letter to Nichimyo Shonin, The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei, Letter to Myomitsu Shonin, Rebuking Slander of the Law, Letter to Ichinosawa Nyudo, On Prayer and others).

Now we can move on to some of the passages in both the Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren revealing the Daishonin's true identity:

"I Nichiren, humble person though I am, have received Lord Shakyamuni's royal command and come to this country of Japan." (MW vol 5, The Pure and Far Reaching Voice, pg 143)

The Original Eternal Buddha has never received the royal command of anyone, he invokes them.

"Will the Bodhsattva Visista-caritra (Jogyo) appear in these days of the Latter Law to open wide the gateway of the Truth, or will he not appear? The Scripture tells us so; yet will it surely happen? Will the Bodhisattva appear or not? At any rate, I, Nichiren have now accomplished the pioneerwork." (Selection of the Time).

"For one aeon, two aeons, countless aeons I devoted myself to the practices of a bodhisattva, until I had almost reached the state where I couldn't never fail to attain Buddhahood. And yet I was dragged down by the powerful and overwhelming influence of evil, and I never attained Buddhahood. I do not know whether I belong to the third group of those who heard the preaching of the sons of Daitsu Buddha and yet failed to attain enlightenment even when one son was reborn in the world as Shakyamuni Buddha, or whether I faltered and fell away from the teachings which I heard long before Daitsu Buddha, at gohyaku jintengo and thus have been reborn in this form. (MW,V2, pg.112)

Moreover, I am a poor monk without social status. While having traversed the Six Realms in my past lives, I have sometimes been born a great king in the human or celestial realm, making everyone obey me just as a strong wind sways the twigs of small trees. Still, I could not attain Buddhahood then. At other times, I must have gone up step by step the way a great bodhisattva according to Hinayana and Mahayana sutras. Having practiced the way of a bodhisattva for as long as one, two and in numerous kalpa, I was about to reach the state of non-retrogression. However, a powerful, evil karma prevented me from obtaining Buddhahood.

According to the "Parable of a Magic City" chapter of the Lotus Sutra there were three categories of people who had an opportunity to listen to the sutra and sow the seed of Buddhahood during the time of Daitsuchisho Buddha in the past. They were all to attain Buddhahood eventually with the third and last group being guaranteed of being future Buddhas upon listening to Shakyamuni Buddha preach the Lotus Sutra. I wonder whether or not I was excluded from this third category of people. Or, am I one of those who, while having listened to the Lotus Sutra and sowed the seed of Buddhahood 500 dust-particle kalpa (gohyaku-jindengo) in the past, have kept falling back till today without eventually getting it? .. (Noppa, Kaimoku Sho, page 92-94)

"I Nichiren, received the Buddha's edict and was born in this land . ." (On Practicing According to the Preaching" (Nyosetsu shugyo sho STN, v. 1, 733 1, 2), 

From Lotus Sutra Chapter 21:

Because, after the Buddha's extinction,
It is possible to possess this sutra,
The buddhas all rejoice
And show infinite powers divine.
Now that this sutra is entailed
To him who keeps it, let praise,
Through kalpas infinite,
Be inexhaustible.
The merits of this man
Shall be boundless and without end
As space in every direction,
Which cannot find a limit.
He who can keep this sutra
Is one who already beholds me
And also the Buddha Abundant Treasures,
And all buddhas emanated [from me],
And sees besides the bodhisattvas
Whom I have instructed until now.
He who can keep this sutra
Will cause me and the [buddhas] emanated from me,
And the Buddha Abundant Treasures in nirvana,
All of us entirely to rejoice;
And the buddhas now in the universe,
And those of the past and the future,
He shall also see and serve
And cause to rejoice.
The mysterious laws that have been attained
By the buddhas each on his wisdom throne,
He who can keep this sutra
Must surely gain ere long.
He who can keep this sutra
Shall the meaning of the laws,
With their terms and expressions,
Delightedly expound without end,
Like the wind in the sky,
Which never has impediment.
After the Tathagata is extinct [such a one],
Knowing [this] sutra that the Buddha has taught,
[Together with] its reasoning and process,
Shall expound it according to its true meaning.
Just as the light of the sun and moon
Can dispel the darkness,
So this man, working in the world,
Can disperse the gloom of the living
And cause numberless bodhisattvas
Finally to abide in the One-vehicle.
Therefore he who has wisdom,
Hearing the benefits of this merit,
After I am extinct,
Should receive and keep this sutra.
This man shall in the Way of the Buddha
Be fixed and have no doubts."

The Daishonin says:

" I Nichiren may be a fool, but, having declared myself to be the messenger of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Votary of the Lotus Sutra, it is nothing short  of amazing that my words go unheeded"-- Letter To Ichinosawa Nyudo,

"Until the envoy of the Buddha actually appeared to expound the Lotus Sutra... However, now that I am spreading the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha'senvoy , everyone -- from ruler to the lowliest subject-- has become a slanderer."---Letter to Niike).

and

I, Nichiren, may not be an envoy sent by the Buddha, but my appearance in this world coincides with the age of the Latter Day. Moreover, quite unexpectedly, I came to realize this teaching, which I now expound to prepare the way for a sage. (Letter to Misawa)

Graham Lamont writes:

In 1277 (the third year of the Kenji era) Nichiren Daishonin wrote a deposition on behalf of Shijo Kingo Yorimoto (the autograph no longer exists but TWO versions copied by Nikko still exist at the Omosu Hommonji (STN v.2, 1346, 1360 notes):

1) an unrevised version compiled in 1278 (the first year of Koan) with the title "On the Dialogue with Ryuzo" or RYUZO MONDO SHO.

2) a "revised version" from the fifth year of Showa (1316) when Nikko was seventy-one years old. Since Nikko's colophon says that he copied this from a "revised version" (saiji hon) it is probable that Nichiren Daishonin rewrote some of the passages some time after 1278.

It is instructive that Nikko would copy this later in his life as a message to his disciples that the revised version is definitive.

Let's look at the correct faith for a disciple of Nichiren:

"I believe it is preached in the HOKEKYO that His Reverence Nichiren Daishonin is the BODHISATTVA JOGYO, the messenger the Tathagata Shakya, Lord of the Three Worlds, Father and Mother of All Beings.“ (STN v.2 1358 and note 1). The capitalized part, the words THE BODHISATTVA JOGYO are in the revised edition.

Nichiren Daishonin himself went to the trouble of adding thewords "the Bodhisattva Jogyo" and even if Nikko, after the death of Nichiren, added those words, here and in the other revised sections, it shows that Nikko regarded Nichiren Daishonin as the bodhisattva Jogyo.

This is proof of how Nichiren Daishonin or, at the very least Nikko, saw the Daishonin's true identity. This identity, which he sometimes hid, was that of the Bodhisattva Jogyo not of the Buddha.

Further evidence is found in the Gosho, The Plots of the elder of Gokurakuji,", the account of the plot of Ryokanbo Nisho, against Nichiren Daishonin. The unrevised account refers to the attempt to kill Nichiren and to the obstacles to him and his disciples on Sado but says nothing about Nichiren Daishonin identity. However, in the REVISED EDITION of Nikko,  though not in Nichiren's hand, it states:

"Nichiren Daishonin, if it is as it is preached in the Sutra, is the Sage who is the Messenger of the Tathagata Who Attained in the Distant Past (kujo nyorai no onzukai), the Descent (suijaku) of the Bodhisattva Jogyo, the Practicer (gyoja) of the Original Doctrine (or Aspect - Hommon) of the Hokke, the Great Guiding Teacher of the fifth five hundred years" (STN v.2, 1352)

Why would Nichiren or Nikko include these words which clearly illustrate that Nichiren Daishonin is the emissary from the Eternal Buddha and the manifestation of Bodhisattva Jogyo, unless they were attempting to show that he actually is the Bodhisattva Jogyo sent by the Buddha Shakyamuni?

In the Minobu period letters, nowhere did Nichiren Daishonin feel himself to be the Buddha, although he is certain of his attainment of Buddhahood. Rather, as he had said in the treatise "On Practicing According to the Preaching" (Nyosetsu shugyo sho STN, v. 1, 733 1, 2), "I Nichiren, received the Buddha’s Proclamation and was born in this land." He also says he has engaged in his crusade of shakubuku "because theDecree of the Dharma King is difficult to defy." (ibid) 

(Note that this Nyosetsu Shugyo Sho survives only in the manuscript of Nikko's disciple Tayu Nichizon (1265-1345), copied in 1297 (the fifth year of Einin).)

Now we can look at what Nikko's has to say:

"The Order of Spreading the Sutra in the Three Ages (Sanji gukyo shidai)(Nichirenshu shugku zensho, II, 53) specifically says:

"The Temple of the Hommon
The disciple of Entrustment
The Bodhisattva Jogyo Nichiren Daishonin."

It is clear that in the Original Doctrine (Hommon), the correct doctrine Nichiren Daishonin is considered the Manifestation of Jogyo, the Great Bodhisattva Converted by the Original Buddha, the disciple clearly delegated with the substance of the Sutra in the "Chapter of the Divine Powers of the Tathagatas" 21. This same work of Nikko refers to the Buddha Shakya Who Attained in the Past (Kujo no Shaka Butsu) the Supreme Enlightenment as the Object of Worship.

There is also proof to be found on a particular Gohonzon from 1274 (currently kept at Myohonji at Hota.) It is No. 16 in the Catalogue of the Gohonzon Collection (Yamanaka Kihachi, Nichiren Daishonin Shinseki no Sekai, p 323 and type B (II) 7 no. 13 in Nichiren Daishonin Mandara zushu, pp. 58-59) On it, in what is considered a "lauditary text", Nichiren writes:

"Since the entrance into Extinction of the Great Enlightened World Honored One there have passed in succession more than two thousand two hundred and twenty years. Even so among the Three Countries of India, Han (China) and Japan, there has not yet been this GREAT OBJECT OF WORSHIP (Dai Honzon). Either they have known but not yet spread it or they have not known it. Our Compassionate Father, by means of the Buddha Wisdom, has hidden and retained it, leaving it for the Latter Age. At the time of the last five hundred years, the Bodhisattva Jogyo comes forth in the world and for the first time spreads and proclaims it."

32 comments:

  1. You have not yet understood the 5 comparisons. Do you not believe that chanting to the Gohonzon is the direct path to achieving enlightenment for mere mortals

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  2. Understanding through faith. Faith in the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra, and words of the Daishonin.

    The Daishonin would have stopped at the “Daimoku only Gohonzon” were the Law alone the Object of Worship. The Koan Era Gohonzons are considered his definitive Gohonzons. The being or “person” contains all Ten Worlds and the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo. One thought moment represents the person and the Three Thousand Worlds the Law. Nichiren Shoshu actually coined the phrase, "Gohonzon of Ninpo Ika, the oneness of person and Law. However they mistake the person for Nichiren while Nichiren clearly identifies the person as "Shakyamuni Buddha". Even SGI used to teach that the Kaimoku Sho explains the Object of Worship in terms of the Person while the True Object of Worship explains it in terms of the Law. For example:

    “Since Sakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are his manifestations, then those great bodhisattvas converted by manifested Buddhas are also disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. If the “Life Span of the Buddha” chapter had not been expounded, it would be like the sky without the sun and moon, a country without a king, mountains and rivers without gems, or a man without a soul. nevertheless, seemingly knowledgeable men of such provisional schools of Buddhism as Ch’eng-kuan of the Hua-yen, Chia-hsiang of the San-lun, Tz’u-en of the Fa-hsiang, and Kobo of the shingon tried to extoltheir own canons by stating: “The Lord of the Flower Garland Sutra represents the reward-body (hojin) of the Buddha wheras that of the Lotus Sutra the accomodative body (ojin);” or “the Buddha in the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus is an Illusion; it is the great Sun Buddha who is enlightened.” clouds cover the moon and slanderers hide wise men. When people slander, ordinary yellow rocks appear to be of gold and slanderers seem to be wise. Scholars in this age of decay, blinded by slanderous words, do not see the value of a gold in the “Lifespan of the Buddha” chapter. Even among men of the Tendai school some are fooled into taking a yellow rock for gold. They should know that if Sakyamuni had not been the Eternal Buddha, there could not have been so many who received GUIDANCE from Him. ” — Kaimoku Sho p. 27 Translated by Kyotsu Hori, 1992

    Even the Kanjn Honzon Sho which describes the Object of Worship in terms of the Law, touches on the Object of Worship in terms of the person:

    “Now , when the Eternal Buddha was revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra, this world of endurance (Saha-world) became the Eternal Pure Land, indestructible even by the three calamities of conflagration, flooding, and strong winds, which are said to destroy the world. It transcends the four periods of cosmic change: the kalpa of construction, continuance, destruction and emptiness. Sakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will He be born in the future. He exists forever throughout the past present and future. All those who receive His GUIDANCE are one with this Eternal Buddha.” — Kanjin Honzon-Sho (NOPPA) page 94

    Unfortunately, the Soka Gakkai too misidentifies the “person” of the Eternal Buddha as Nichiren [rather than Shakyamuni].

    Nothing said here that overturns the Five Comparisons.

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  3. No so Mark, your opinions about Nichiren revering the person as the object of worship and not stopping at the Law are directly counter to his very clear statements in Honzon London Sho (Questions and Answers on the Honzon Doctrine 2 University of Hawaii Press page 258) (SGI version Q&A on the Object of devotion WND p787). Written 1278, it states at the start that "We should regard the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra as the Honzon." . He the clarifies the question about Buddha (Shakyamuni) or Law in question 6. "If so, why do you regard the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra and not Sakamuni Buddha as the honzon?" His answer concludes "Sakamuni Buddha and Great Sun Buddha and each and every Buddha in the worlds throughout the universe are all born from the Lotus Sutra. This is why we regard the Lotus Sutra, viewed as father and mother of all Buddhas, as the honzon. In the next Q&A he supports his stance, noting "The Buddha is like the body the Lotus Sutra is the spirit". That seems the right relationship to me. Do I think that Nichiren wasn't being clear? Do I think he held something back or assumed some extra context or understanding? Or that he changed his view significantly in the final 4 years of his life? No. I think he is being very explicit and he is clear, the Law is the Object of worship. The Sutra itself supports this. The Law is the wisdom of all Buddhas, it is the thing they are awakened to. Nichiren is also clear, Sutra first, later commentary second. The latter has to be consistent with the former, not the other way around. Doesn't matter who it is commentating.. .

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    1. Correction of course'London' should have been 'Mondo-sho' in the previous post. Auto correct running away with itself!

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    2. Do you not believe in the oneness of the person and the Law, the oneness of Ku, Ke and Chu. Is this not the law that makes all Buddha's Buddha and that is manifested today as Nichiren's complete 10 world Gohonzon or would you rather worship an isolated Dharma body of the 3 body Tathagatta

      "The Law is the wisdom of all Buddha's, it is the thing they are awakened to" which is the awareness of the 3 Truths that is the essence of ichinen sanzen and the essence of all Buddha's teachings throughout eternity

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    3. Yes. I also believe in the teacher Shakyamuni Buddha as dd Nichiren.

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  4. Then you are saying that the Honzon Mondo sho supercedes the the teachings of the Kanjin Honzon Sho and Hoon Sho?

    “Many wooden statues and portraits were made of Shakyamuni Buddha as He preached Hinayana and quasi-Mahayana sutras, but statues and portraits of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra were never made. Now, in the beginning of Mappo, is it not the time that such statues and portraits are made?” (P.104)

    “Answer: One: Japan and so on to the whole of Jambudvipa should uniformly take the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Original Doctrine as the Object of Worship.” — Repaying Debts of Gratitude [KHK Translation]

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  5. I am asserting Mondo-sho's position yes. Hoon sho is probably not such a great Gosho to quote from for reasons that you should be aware of.

    Nichiren has presented us with an apparent inconsistency. Such can sometimes be explained by evolution in his thoughts, faith and practiceband sometimes by the recipient. However with two writings so close together (Kanjin-sho and Mondo-sho) I doubt that's the case here.

    So a paradox...and where there is a paradox it has to be resolved by fitting the right key to the lock. Our interpretations are the keys but do they open the lock and resolve the paradox? There is a congent explanation that does that, yes, there is a key that fits this particular lock - but it's whether we want to reach for it. I'll leave that up to you, we are all, after all, entitled to our beliefs. We all get there in the end don't we? - or according to the Sutra we do!

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    1. This analogy is spot on and makes more sense than other analogies that I have come across so far. I firmly believe that this is the key to open the lock of Dharma Gate

      The One That Has Come
      (S. Tathagata)

      On the Tathagata, Nichiren says in The Oral Transmission of the Meaning (J. Ongi Kuden):

      The title of this (16th) Chapter (Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come) of The Lotus Sutra is very important in the life of Nichiren. It was this title of the Sutra that was transferred in the (21st) Chapter (The Spiritual Power of the The One That Has Come). The One That Has Come (S. Tathagata) is the one honored by all the Buddhas of the ten directions and of the past, present and future. More specifically it is the innate triple body of enlightenment.

      Now Nichiren and his kind recognize that The One That Has Come is within all living beings. More specifically, it is that which is entrusted to Nichiren’s disciples. It is the innate triple body of enlightenment of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in the age of the Dharma’s demise (Mappo). The precious title of the innate triple body of enlightenment is ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo”. These are the three very important points in this (16th) chapter.

      There are six identities with enlightenment that are established in this chapter:
      1.The One That Has Come is inherent in ordinary people (identity in principle)
      2.The they don the crown of ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo’, causing them to first hear the Title (identity in name)
      3.Then, upon hearing and believing, they cultivate its practice (identity in practice of observation). This is observation of the object of worship, which is the 3000 spiritual aspects in a single thought (J. Ichinen Sanzen) in actual practice.
      4.Confusion and obstacles are subdued (Identity to enlightenment in appearance)
      5.Influence on others arises (Identity to enlightenment in increments)
      6.The innate triple body of enlightenment is complete (Ultimate identity with enlightenment)

      In subduing confusion, The (16th) Chapter on Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come is the ultimate. Only the ordinary common mortal can embody the fundamental essence of this chapter, which is the ultimate truth that can be attained by the mind.

      What is the innate triple body of enlightenment? I now tell you that it is ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo’

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    2. The Ongi Kuden is the purported Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. Chapter 16 is the most important chapter because it corresponds to Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, the most important chapter of the the Lotus Sutra. It is a controversial and disputed writing held in high esteem by the Soka Gakkai. Are the doctrines contained within the Ongi Kuden consonent with teachings of the Lotus Sutra, the Five Major Writings of Nichiren and the entire body of Nichiren's writings? Is the Ongi Kuden shallow or profound? Does it accord with the mind of the Buddha? I hope to answer these questions.

      Ongi Kuden:

      16: The Life Span of the Buddha [Nyorai Juryo]

      "The Juryo chapter reveals the original life of all beings in the ten worlds. This chapter is called the essential teaching or hommon because it is the gateway to eternity. (Gosho Zenshu p. 799)

      Namu Myoho Renge Kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon; for Nichiren, it is the title of this chapter that is the important teaching. The title of this chapter represents an essential principle applicable to Nichiren. This was transferred [to Bodhisattva Fukyo] in the Jinriki Chapter. Nyorai, in the broadest sense, means Shakyamuni and all the Buddhas in the universe and throughout the three existences of life, but in its strictest sense, it means only the True Buddha who possesses the three attributes of life. Now I, Nichiren and my disciples mean to say that Nyorai, in its broadest sense, indicates all humanity but, in a stricter sense, it stands for my disciples and believers." (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      Is the True Buddha Nichiren and his disciples or the Buddha who taught Nichiren and the other disciples in the remote past, bestowing upon them the Five Characters of Myoho renge kyo at the Ceremony in the Air? The concept of the general and the specific will be brought up again and again to show that the author of the Ongi Kuden misunderstood the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. The passage above is not only a teaching of the Ongi Kuden but a teachings of the Fuji sect, particularly a teaching of the Soka Gakkai.

      continued....

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    3. Nichiren, on the other hand, states in the Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood:

      "The Lotus Sutra states that Bodhisattva Superior Practices and the others will appear in the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law to propagate the five characters, the embodiment of the two elements of reality and wisdom. The sutra makes this perfectly clear. Who could possibly dispute it? I, Nichiren, am neither Bodhisattva Superior Practices nor his envoy, but I precede them, spreading the five characters to prepare the way. Bodhisattva Superior Practices received the water of the wisdom of the Mystic Law from the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and causes it to flow into the wasteland of the people’s lives in the evil world of the latter age. This is the function of wisdom. Shakyamuni Buddha transferred this teaching to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, and now Nichiren propagates it in Japan. With regard to the transfer of teachings, it is divided into two categories: general and specific. If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will never be able to attain Buddhahood and will wander in suffering through endless transmigrations of births and deaths."

      He spends the rest of this writing explaining this passage and concludes:

      "The sutra states, “Those persons who had heard the Law dwelled here and there in various Buddha lands, constantly reborn in company with their teachers,”and “If one stays close to the teachers of the Law, one will speedily gain the bodhisattva way. By following and learning from these teachers one will see Buddhas as numerous as Ganges sands.” A commentary says, “Originally one followed this Buddha and for the first time conceived the desire to seek the way. And by following this Buddha again, one will reach the stage where there is no retrogression.” Another commentary says, “In the beginning one followed this Buddha or bodhisattva and formed a bond with him, and so it will be through this Buddha or bodhisattva that one will attain one’s goal." Above all, be sure to follow your original teacher so that you are able to attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. If you deviate from these principles, not even I can save you in your next life."

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    4. Nichiren's disciple:

      Nichiren is crystal clear and the teaching in The Essentials For Attaining Buddhahood accords with the Lotus Sutra and the teachings in the Five Major Works. Are we to believe the Ongi Kuden or the Lotus Sutra, the Opening of the Eyes, the True Object of Worship, and The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood?

      These passages of The Essentials For Attaining Buddhahood are antithetical to the opening passage of the Ongi Kuden. Who are we to believe? The SGI who says the profound principles of Buddhism are to be found in the Ongi Kuden or the disciples and believers of Nichiren who says the Ongi Kuden is a cunning expedient invented by the Nichiren Shoshu to promote their heretical brand of Buddhism? You would be wise to adopt the criteria of the disciples and believers of Nichiren and the Nichiren Gohonzon that is indeed sublime.

      Ongi Kuden:

      The sutra states, "We will believe and accept the Buddha's words." (LS p. 224, 3LS p. 249)

      The Buddha endowed with the three enlightened properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. The three enlightened properties are attained through a single character. This is 'believe.' Therefore, the sutra states 'We will believe and accept the Buddha's words.' You should fix your mind upon the two characters 'believe' and 'accept.' The Buddha endowed with the three properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in Mappo. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      The Three Enlightened Properties are the Three Buddha Bodies. In Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism (not SGI or Taisekaji pseudo-Buddhism), the Jewel of the Buddha and the Secret Law of the Object of Worship is Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Jewel and Secret Law of the Law is Namu Myoho renge kyo. The Jewel of the Sangha are the disciples and believers of Nichiren Daishonin while the secret Law of the Sanctuary is wherever the Law is preached and wherever the Eternal Buddha resides. The Ongi Kuden teaches (above) that Nichiren and his disciples correspond to the entirety of the Three Jewels. This is equivalent to the Tibetian Vajrayana teachings that the Lama encompasses the Three Jewels. The Ongi Kuden is mistaken, Taisekeji is mistaken. Is there any wonder that Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji would have made their advent in the SGI and the Nichiren Shoshu, these "Lamas" of Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism.

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    5. Nichiren teaches:

      "Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies. Therefore, even Universal Worthy and Manjushri were hardly able to expound so much as a single phrase or verse of it. How much more difficult then must it be for us, who are no more than ordinary people living in this latter age, to embrace even one or two words of this sutra!" (The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra)

      and

      "...The “Life Span” chapter reads, “It has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” The Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives is the eternal Buddha since time without beginning, who obtained the three bodies more than numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago..."

      Nichiren's disciple:

      Please note, the above passage doesn't say "the votaries or common mortals within the life of Shakyamuni Buddha". It says, "Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives." The Ongi Kuden and the SGI confuse the general with the specific. Specifically, Shakyamuni is the Original Buddha from time withut beginning. Generally, his Original Disciples, the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, function as the Buddha in this Latter age as envoys of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni Buddha.

      Ongi Kuden:

      "You must listen carefully and hear of the Thus Come One's secret and his transcendental powers." (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 249)

      The countless entities in the three thousand worlds, which are undergoing the process of birth, life, change, and extinction, are embodiments of [these] transcendental powers. As for 'transcendental powers,' the actions that are carried out instant by instant, motion by motion by us, the living beings, are called 'transcendental powers.' Apart from attaining Buddhahood, there are no 'secret' or 'transcendental powers.' In the final analysis, the five characters of Myoho Renge Kyo are synonymous with the phrase 'the Thus Come One's secret and transcendental powers.' (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)

      The sutra states, "But good men, it has been immeasurable boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood." (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 250)

      'I' [in the above passage] refers to Shakyamuni, who attained enlightenment in the remote past. However, according to the actual meaning of this [Juryo] chapter, 'I' represents all living beings in the universe. The Ten Worlds are each indicated by 'I.' 'In fact' means establishing that these are the Buddhas inherently endowed with the three eternal properties, this is the meaning of 'fact.' 'Attained' means to open. All phenomena of the universe are 'opened' to reveal them as the Buddha inherently endowed with the three eternal properties. Being awakened to this is called 'Buddhahood.' As for 'since' [irai] 'I' indicates the past, and 'rai,' the future. This passage is saying that the Buddhahood 'I in fact attained' is immeasurable and boundless in both the past and future. This [passage further] indicates the hundred realms, thousand factors and the three thousand realms in a single thought-moment. As for the two words 'hundreds' and 'thousands,' 'hundreds' means indicates the hundred realms and thousands is the thousand realms. These are practically the single thought-moment being three thousand realms in actuality. (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)

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    6. Nichiren's disciple:

      Once again we see in all its ignominy, the east is west, up is down, black is white, teachings of the Ongi Kuden adopted or created by Taisekaji. "I" specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha and generally to us, not the other way around. The Taisekaji teachings are those of arrogant licentiousness that is so appealing to the people of the Latter Day, those people thrown out by all the other Buddhas. Unfilial sons can not succeed their father Those who would depose their father from his rightful place, can not be counted as the Buddha's successors.

      Ongi Kuden:

      Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are the main subjects of the Juryo chapter. In general, bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha, in his provisional aspect, cannot uphold this chapter. For them, the theoretical teaching is primary and the essential teaching secondary, while for us the essential teaching is primary and the theoretical teaching is secondary."

      Nichiren's disciple:

      The main subject of the Juryo Chapter is The Father of the World, the one who saves his children from the various sufferings and travails, the Skillful Physician who cures his children with the medicine of Namu Myoho renge kyo, Shakyamuni Buddha. The children are not the main subject. It is not we who save our father. It is only by accepting and acknowledging the medicine (Law) and our father (Buddha) that we become equal to him. It is not by accepting the medicine and then turning around and declaring that it was our medicine all along and we, in fact, pounded and sifted and gave the medicine to our father. Why would anyone teach that it is we who endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the Three Properties of the Buddha's life? To what purpose does it serve, if not to trivialize the accomplishments of our father, Shakyamuni Buddha? Nichiren says unfilial sons do not inherit the lands and riches of the father. This is the reason the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI members remain unenlightened worldlings. They are those without gratitude for their father, or those with misplaced gratitude to Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji, or those who follow the person and not the Law.

      The Ongi Kuden continues:

      "Even so, this chapter is not the essential teaching for the Latter Day of the Law. The reason is that this chapter confers the benefit of [reaping the harvest of] emancipation for those who lived in Shakyamuni's lifetime, while only the five characters sow the seed [of Buddhahood] for those who would come in the future, that is, at the present time. This being the case, the Buddha's lifetime was the age for the benefits of [the harvest of] emancipation, while the last age is the time for sowing the seed. In the Latter Day of the Law, sowing the seed is the basis. Nichiren and his disciples, who chant the Daimoku, are the parents of mankind because they save them from the hell of incessant suffering." (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)

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    7. Nichiren's disciple:

      This is a restatement of the teachings in the True Object of Worship:

      "It is stated in the tenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, 'The Teacher of the Dharma': 'This sutra has aroused much hatred and jealousy even in the lifetime of the Buddha. How much more can this be expected after His death!' And in the eleventh chapter, 'Appearance of the Stupa of Treasures': 'Taho Buddha and the Buddhas in manifestation (funjin Buddhas) from all the worlds in the universe gathered together to make this dharma live forever....Buddhas in manifestation should remember My (the Buddha's) intention to keep on spreading the dharma forever.'You may find similar statements in the thirteen chapter, 'Encouragement for Upholding this Sutra', and fourteenth chapter, 'Peaceful Practices'. They show that the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra is directed to those in the beginning of the Latter Age.

      The essential section of the Lotus Sutra is preached solely for those living in the beginning of the Latter Age. At first glance it appears that the seed of Buddhahood was planted in them by the Eternal Buddha in the eternal past or 500 dust particle kalpa ago. The seed germinated and grew within them with the help of all the sutras from the Lotus Sutra preached by the sixteenth prince of Daitsuchisho Buddha in 3,000 dust particle kalpa in the past to all those preached by Sakyamuni in his life before the Lotus Sutra and the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra. Finally the essential section of the Lotus Sutra enabled them to attain Buddhahood.

      On closer examination, however, the essential section differs from the theoretical section. That is to say the essential section, all through the prologue, the main discourse, and the epilogue, was preached for those people in the beginning of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma. The teaching of the essential section during the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha and that which would spread in the beginning of the Latter Age are likewise absolutely perfect. However the former is for attaining enlightenment, whereas the latter is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood. While the former is crystallized in the sixteenth chapter, 'Duration of the Life of the Buddha', with half a chapter each preceding and following it, the latter is solely embodied in the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) pp 120 - 122;

      What was referred to by Nichiren as "the teaching for attaining enlightenment" [ Buddhism of the Harvest] is Shakyamuni Buddha teaching the Essential Section of the Lotus Sutra during his lifetime. In this age we also only rely on the Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) but the faith, practice, and propagation in the differs from that of the Buddha during his lifetime. We rely on the Daimoku transmitted by the Buddha to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who are to propagate the Lotus Sutra in this age. In Chapter 15 of the Lotus Sutra, the various provisional Bodhisattvas from this and other worlds ask to expound the Lotus Sutra. However, the Buddha rejects their offer.

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    8. Nichiren, referencing Tien-tai, discusses this rejection:

      "After all, Sakyamuni Buddha could not reveal his innermost enlightenment, or the great dharma hidden in the lines of the Duration of the Life of the Buddha Chapter to those great bodhisattvas from other worlds who had been guided by the teaching of the theoretical section." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.

      Nichiren continues,

      "Lands at the beginning of the Latter Age slander the true dharma and those who live there have poor capacity for comprehension and faith in Buddhism. Therefore, instead of relying on Buddhas from other worlds, the Buddha called out great bodhisattvas from underground to entrust them with the task of transmitting the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the essence of the Duration of the Life of the Buddha chapter, to the people in this world. It meant also that those guided by the teaching of the theoretical section were not the original disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha." True Object of Worship Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.

      "Having thus manifested the ten divine powers, Sakyamuni Buddha transmitted the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo to the original disciples of the Buddha since the eternal past, who had sprung up from underground." True Object of Worship (NOPPA 1991) p 140; MW 176

      The meaning of the Buddhism of the Harvest and the Buddhism of the Sowing, is not that there are two different Buddhisms or two different Buddhas. This age, however, is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood, not harvesting the seed.

      Ongi Kuden:

      The sutra states, "The Thus Come One perceives the true aspect of the threefold world exactly as it is. There is no ebb and flow of birth and death, and there is no existing in this world and later entering extinction. It is neither substantial nor empty, neither consistent nor diverse." (LS p. 226)

      'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world. When one observes these beings through the eye of the Juryo chapter, we can perceive these beings in the ten worlds exactly as they are, in their original state. The 'true aspect of the threefold world' are birth, old age, sickness, and death. When one sees these as birth and death that are originally inherent, then 'there...is no birth or death.' Since there is neither birth nor death, neither is there withdrawal or emergence. Yet this does not negate the cycle of birth and death. Regarding life and death with abhorrence and trying to separate oneself from them is delusion, corresponding to the notion that Buddhahood is acquired. To clearly perceive life, and death, as life's innate workings, is called awakening and corresponds to inherent or total enlightenment. Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo awaken to the ebb and flow of birth and death as the innate workings of life that is eternal. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)

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    9. Nichiren's disciple:

      The Ongi Kuden states,"'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world." No distinction between Enlightened and the deluded beings is made. I challenge my readers to find a similar passage in the Lotus Sutra or any authentic writing of Nichiren Daishonin. Only the Ongi Kuden possesses such a passage. The closest Nichiren comes in his authenticated writings is found in Letter to Matsuno (Fourteen Slanders),

      "Bodhisattva Never Disparaging of old said that all people have the Buddha nature and that, if they embrace the Lotus Sutra, they will never fail to attain Buddhahood. He further stated that to slight a person is to slight the Buddha himself."

      Does the teaching in Letter to Matsuno mean that there is no difference between a Buddha and a common mortal or does it teach that we should treat all beings impartially?

      Nichiren says in the True Aspect of All Phenomena: "A Buddha displays the form of a Buddha, and a common mortal, that of a common mortal." In Letter to Horen he writes, “If one can uphold this [sutra], one will be upholding the Buddha’s body.". In the Selection of the Time we read, “Great Man” is one of the titles of a Buddha.". On Attainng Buddhahood in this Lifetime reads, "The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds.". In Conversations Between a Sage and an Unenlighted Man Nichiren teaches:

      “These various sutras expound partial truths such as ‘the mind itself is the Buddha, and the Buddha is none other than the mind.’ The Zen followers have allowed themselves to be led astray by one or two such sentences and phrases, failing to inquire whether they represent the Mahayana or the Hinayana, the provisional teachings or the true teaching, the doctrines that reveal the truth or the doctrines that conceal it. They merely advance the principle of nonduality without understanding the principle of duality, and commit an act of great arrogance, claiming that they themselves are equal to the Buddha. They are following in the tracks of the Great Arrogant Brahman of India and imitating the old ways of the Meditation Master San- chieh of China. But we should recall that the Great Arrogant Brahman, while still alive, fell into the hell of incessant suffering, and that San-chieh, after he died, turned into a huge snake. How frightful, how frightful indeed!'"

      We should be very careful in interpreting or even believing the Ongi Kuden when it says,"'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world.". Nichiren writes, “Knowledge without faith” describes those who are knowledgeable about the Buddhist doctrines but have no faith. These people will never attain Buddhahood."(Letter to Nikke). Over and over Nichiren talks about those who fail to attain Buddhahood or those who will attain Buddhahood only after countless kalpas. But In the Ongi Kuden we read, "Thus come one indicates all living beings in the threefold world". Of what purpose is Buddhism if we are all Buddhas as we are?

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    10. The Ongi Kuden continues:

      "In this passage, 'no' and 'is' and 'birth' and 'death' and 'withdrawal' and 'emergence' and 'being in the world' and 'passing into extinction' are all behavior which is inherent and constantly abides. 'No' means that there exists nothing apart from the Ten Worlds being all simultaneously the behavior of Myoho Renge Kyo. 'Is' means that hell, just as it is, is the entire essence of the Mystic Law, which inherently contains the Ten Worlds. As for 'birth,' since this is the birth inherent in the Mystic Law, it accords with conditions, and since 'death' is the death revealed in fathoming the Juryo Chapter, the world of Buddhahood is simultaneously all true reality. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)

      Because of 'withdrawal,' there is passing into 'extinction,' because of 'emergence,' there is 'being in the world.' This being the case, 'non-being,' 'death,' 'withdrawal' and 'extinction' denotes non-substantiality [ku], 'being' 'life,' 'appearance' and existence denotes temporary existence [ke] and the reality of the Buddha's life denotes the Middle Way. 'No,' 'death,' 'withdrawal,' and 'extinction' represented the transcendent bliss body [property of wisdom or hoshin] body. 'Is,' 'birth,' 'emergence,' and 'being in this world' represent the uncreated manifestation body [property of action or ojin] and 'the Thus Come One in accordance with reality' indicates the original entity of the Law [hosshin]. These three bodies [properties] are inherent in one's person. This is also the meaning of 'One's own body being precisely three bodies is called secret, and three bodies being precisely one body is hidden.' And this being the case, the original three bodies [properties] of the Buddha who, being the Buddha of the entity of all sentient beings embodying the Mystic Law, consists of the disciples and laity of Nichiren, because they hold [this Buddha's] honorific title: Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      These last two paragraphs are the Lotus Sutra's teachings of relative monism. As long as it is understood that "[this Buddha's]" refers to the Master of Teachings Lord Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine, this teaching is in accord with the Lotus Sutra. Here we see that the author has reversed himself and dropped his earlier assertion that the Thus Come One is "all sentient beings" (absolute monism). The Ongi Kuden is inconsistant from beginning to end, unlike the Five Major Works or the vast body of Nichiren's authenticated writings. Taken on its own merit, the Ongi Kuden confounds rather than clarifies the teachings.

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    11. The next 21 passages are omitted because they are not controverted. The following two passages however, reverses all the good discourses of the previous 21 passages.

      Ongi Kuden

      " The original entity [of this Buddha] is the originally inherent forms and aspects of [all living beings of ] the ten worlds. His commitments are what [these beings of] the ten worlds hold. His seed is the single character 'faith,' that is, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo just as it is. [Again,] his commitment is the palms [gassho] placed together [as in chanting the Daimoku] This should be kept secret and not told to others."

      "The sutra states, "I am the father of this world, saving those who suffer and are afflicted." (LS p. 231, 3LS p. 256)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      The statement, " his commitment is the palms [gassho] placed together [as in chanting the Daimoku] This should be kept secret and not told to others.", in the context of the passage, that asserts that we are the entities of the Buddha (rather than he being the entity of the beings of the Nine Realms), is not consonant with the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the Buddha. The additions of the phrase, "I am the father of this world, saving those who are suffering and afflicted.", adds salt to the wound because it implies that it is we, rather than Shakyamuni Buddha, who is the father of this world. This is not found in any other writing, save for The inauthentic True Aspect of All Phenomena.

      In the Entity of the Mystic Law, Nichiren writes,

      "In essence, the entity of Myoho renge kyo is the physical body that the disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra received from their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons who honestly discard expedient means, put faith in the Lotus Sutra alone and chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, will transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma and suffering into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation.

      "The threefold contemplation and the Three Truths will immediately become manifest in their minds, and the place where they live will become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha who is the entity of Myoho renge kyo, of the Juryo chapter of the essential teaching, who is both inhabiting subject and inhabited realm, life and environment, body and mind, entity and function, the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies---he is to be found in the disciples and followers of Nichiren. Such persons embody the the true entity of Myoho renge kyo; these are the meritorious workings that the spontaneous transcendental powers inherent in it display. could anyone venture to doubt it? Indeed it cannot be doubted!" (Entity of the Mystic Law, pg.64)

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    12. This is the general concept of the disciples and believers of Nichiren) but the Ongi Kuden asserts it is the specific concept (see paragraph one of the Ongi Kuden above. Nichiren clarifies this matter on pg. 67 - 68 of the Entity of the Mystic Law :

      "Question: Since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, has anyone become enlightened to the lotus that is the entity of the MysticLaw?

      Answer: Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened to this lotusthat is the entity of the Mystic Law numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past, and in age after age and lifetime after lifetime, declared that he had attained the way and revealed the fundamental principle he had realized with his enlightened wisdom.

      In our present world as well, he appeared in the kingdom of Magadha in central India, intending to reveal this lotus of the Mystic Law. But the people lacked the proper capacity, and the time was not right. Therefore, he drew distinctions regarding this lotus of the singleLaw and expounded it as three kinds of flowers, delivering to the people the provisional teachings of the three vehicles. For over forty years he guided and led them with these temporary teachings according to their capacities. During this period, because the capacities of the people he addressed were so varied, he bestowed upon them the various flowers and plants of the provisional teachings, but he never spoke of Myoho-renge. That is why, in the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, the Buddha said: “In the past I sat upright in the place of meditation [for six years] under the bodhi tree [and was able to gain supreme perfect enlightenment . . . But] in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth.”

      But when he preached the Lotus Sutra, he cast aside the various plants and flowers of the Hinayana doctrines and the provisional teachings, which correspond to the expedient means of the four flavors and three teachings, and explained the unique doctrine of Myoho-renge. When he opened the three figurative lotuses to reveal the single lotus of Myoho-renge, the people of the provisional teachings with their four flavors and three teachings were able to gain the lotus of the first of the ten stages of security. Not until he revealed the lotus of “opening the near and revealing the distant” were they able to obtain the lotus of the highest result, advancing to the second stage of security, the third stage of security, the tenth stage, the stage of near-perfect enlightenment, and finally, the highest stage of perfect enlightenment.

      Thus, specifically, Buddha Shakyamuni is the Entity of the Mystic Law and Nichiren and his disciples, generally. "If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will fail to attain Buddhahood" (Nichiren). Please read the following passages of the Ongi Kuden with this in mind.

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    13. The Ongi Kuden now reverses itself:

      'I' indicates Shakyamuni Buddha, the father of all people. The Lotus Sutra expounds the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent in terms of both the Buddha and the sutra. First, in terms of the Buddha, the three virtues of the Buddha of the theoretical teaching are expressed in this passage "But now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children." (LS p. 69) (Gosho Zenshu p. 757)

      And then, speaking generally,

      As for the three virtues expounded in terms of the sutra, the phrase 'king of the sutras' signifies the virtue of sovereign, the passage 'this sutra can save all people' represents the virtue of teacher. The phrase "like Brahma who is the father of all living beings" (LS p. 286) indicates the virtue of parent. Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are the father of all living beings, for we save them from the torments of the hell of incessant suffering. The Nirvana Sutra states, "The varied sufferings of all living beings- all these the Thus Come One experiences as his own sufferings." And, Nichiren declares that the varied sufferings of living beings are those of Nichiren. (Gosho Zenshu p. 757-58)

      Here the Ongi Kuden is speaking specifically:

      The three virtues of the Buddha of the essential teaching are described as follows: the virtue of sovereign is indicated by the passage "This my land remains safe and tranquil." The virtue of teacher in the passage "Constantly have I taught the Law," and the virtue of parent in the passage "I am the father of this world." (LS p. 229-30) The Great Teacher Miao-lo of China states in his commentary that anyone who does not understand the text of the Juryo Chapter is no more than a beast who has no understanding of the debt of gratitude one owes to sovereign, teacher and parent. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)

      The sutra states, "For if they see me constantly, arrogance and selfishness arise in their minds." (LS p. 231, 3LS p. 256)

      Abandoning themselves to the five desires is another name for slander of the Law. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)

      The sutra states, "Always I am aware of which living beings practice the Way, and which do not." (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)

      'Practice the Way' indicates those in the four noble world [from Learning to Buddhahood], and 'not practicing the Way' indicates those in the lower six worlds. Further, [among the lower six worlds] 'practice the Way' signifies those in the worlds of Anger, Humanity and Heaven, while 'not practicing the Way' signifies the three evil paths of Hell, Hunger and Animality. In the final analysis, in the Latter Day of the Law, the votaries of the Lotus Sutra are 'practicing the Way' while slanderers are not. The 'Way' [for persons in the Latter Day] is the Lotus Sutra. T'ien-t'ai states, 'the Buddhist Way specifically means this sutra.' Now Nichiren and his disciples, who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, are practicing the Way, and those who do not chant are not. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)

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    14. The sutra states, "At all times I think to myself: How can I cause all beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed Way, and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?" (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)

      Ongi Kuden:

      The sutra states, "At all times I think to myself: How can I cause all beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed Way, and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?" (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      This is the constant thought of Shakyamnui Buddha. If we are honest with ourselves we will have to admit that this is not our constant thought. Sometimes we are thinking about our next paycheck, at other times we are thinking about our sore back, still at other times we are thinking that our anger or arrogance has gotten the better of us. Daisaku Ikeda thinks about his worldly honors and fame and the High Priest how he can accumulate more donations. Only the Buddha and possibly Nichiren Daishonin, always has this thought in mind. That is why Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin are our Masters and we are their disiples. That is why Shakyamuni endows us with the Three Buddha Bodies, not the other way around. I want you to think deeply about this.

      The Ongi Kuden:

      The word ji [interpreted as the pronoun 'one' or 'one's'] marks the beginning of the Jigage section, and the word shin ['self' or 'body'] in 'quickly acquire the body of a Buddha' marks the end. It starts and ends with 'oneself,' and the words in between the 'receiving' and 'use' of this body. In other words, the Jigage section elucidates the 'self that is freely received and used,' or the Buddha of absolute freedom. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758-759)

      Nichiren's disciple:

      This is a very important passage of the Ongi Kuden to the SGI members who recklessly declare, contrary to the admonitions of Nichiren Daishonin, "we are Buddhas." Let us read this passage literally, as Nichiren did, ever keeping in mind that 'I" specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha and only generally, to us:

      "Since the Buddha [of the “Life Span” chapter] is revealed as the Buddha who attained enlightenment in the remote past [and all the other Buddhas as his emanations], it follows that not only the great bodhisattvas whom Shakyamuni himself taught in his transient status, but the great bodhisattvas from other realms [who were taught by the Buddhas of their own realms] are also in fact disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. If, among all the numerous sutras, this “Life Span” chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun or moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in human beings." (Opening of the Eyes)

      continued....

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    15. "In order to dispel this doubt and puzzlement, Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, then preaches the “Life Span” chapter. Referring first to the version of the events presented in the earlier sutras and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra, he says: “In all the worlds the heavenly and human beings and asuras all believe that the present Shakyamuni Buddha, after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, seated himself in the place of meditation not far from the city of Gaya and there attained supreme perfect enlightenment.” But then, in order to dispel their doubts, he says, “But good men, it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” (Ibid. Opening of the Eyes).

      And again "I" refers specifically to Shakyamuni Buddha:

      "Later, when the Buddha preached the “Life Span” chapter, he said: “In all the worlds the heavenly and human beings and asuras all believe that the present Shakyamuni Buddha, after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, seated himself in the place of meditation not far from the city of Gaya and there attained supreme perfect enlightenment.” This passage expresses the view held by all the great bodhisattvas and the rest of the multitude from the time of the Buddha’s first preaching at the place of enlightenment until his preaching of the “Peaceful Practices” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. “But, good men,” the Buddha continued, “it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” (ibid.)

      Because I am only a common mortal I will make you (Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu) bend before the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin and give up your reliance on the interpretations of Daisaku Ikeda and the priests of Taisakaji such as Nichikan. "But now all these passages have been exposed as gross falsehoods by this single pronouncement in the “Life Span” chapter." (ibid.)

      "One should consider the fact that, if the Buddha had not attained enlightenment in the distant past, there could not have been so many disciples who were converted and instructed by him. The moon is not selfish with its reflection, but if there is no water, then its reflection will not be seen. The Buddha may be very anxious to convert all people, but if the connection he shares with them is not strong enough, then he cannot exhibit the eight phases of a Buddha’s existence. For example, the voice-hearers attained the first stage of security or the first stage of development, but so long as they followed the teachings that preceded the Lotus Sutra and sought only to regulate and save themselves, they had to postpone the attainment of the eight phases of a Buddha’s existence to some future lifetime.

      If Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, had attained enlightenment for the first time in his present existence, then when he preached the Lotus Sutra, Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings, though they had ruled over this world since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, would have been disciples of the Buddha for no longer than forty-some years. These beings would then have established their connection with the Lotus Sutra for the first time during the eight years of preaching at Eagle Peak. They would thus have been like newcomers unable to unreservedly approach their lord, kept at a distance by those who had been present longer.

      continued....

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    16. But now that it has become apparent that Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment countless kalpas ago, then the bodhisattvas Sunlight and Moonlight, who attend the Thus Come One Medicine Master of the eastern region, and the bodhisattvas Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and Great Power, who attend the Thus Come One Amida of the western region, along with the disciples of all the Buddhas of the worlds of the ten directions, and the great bodhisattvas who are disciples of the Thus Come One Mahavairochana as they are shown in the Mahavairochana and Diamond Crown sutras—all of these beings are disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. Since the various Buddhas themselves are emanations of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, it goes without saying that their disciples must be disciples of Shakyamuni. And of course the various deities of the sun, moon, and stars, who have dwelt in this world since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, must likewise be disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha.'" (more Opening of the Eyes)

      It is the Opening of the Eyes that explains the Ongi Kuden not the Ongi Kuden that explains the Opening of the Eyes. Wake up!

      Nichiren says those who are ignorant of the teachings of the Life Span Chapter are "beasts" and no better than "talented animals". Those who assert that we endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the seed of Namu Myoho renge kyo also fall into this category.

      Nichiren teaches that we are the messengers of Shakyamuni Buddha not that Shakyamuni Buddha is our messenger:

      "Question: Who is the messenger mentioned in the passage, “he sends a messenger home to announce” ?

      Answer: It means the four ranks of sages. They fall into four categories. [First,] most of the four ranks of sages of Hinayana appeared in the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law, and [second,] most of those of [provisional] Mahayana came in the second five hundred years. Third, those of the theoretical teaching appeared mainly in the next thousand years, the Middle Day of the Law, and the rest, in the beginning of the Latter Day. Fourth, the four ranks of sages of the essential teaching are the bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, who are certain to appear in the beginning of the Latter Day. When the sutra says, “he sends a messenger home to announce,” it refers to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. “This good medicine” is the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is endowed with name, entity, quality, function, and teaching. Since the Buddha would not entrust this good medicine even to the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching, how much less could he have done so to the bodhisattvas of other worlds?" (True Object of Worship)

      That is why Nichiren says the Four Great Bodhisattvas of the Earth are the attendents of the Original Buddha Shakyamuni of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. We abdicate our lofty position, not usurp the position of the eternal Buddha like the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu.

      continued....

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    17. Nichiren writes:

      "According to the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha emitted a radiant light that illuminated the hells underground and revealed that not a single offender remained there. This was because they had all achieved Buddhahood through the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. What a pity, however, that the icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief, who had slandered the correct teaching, were found to have been detained there by the wardens of hell. They proliferated until they became the people of Japan today."

      I would interpret this to mean the icchantikas of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu priests and believers.

      "The saha world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas..." (True Object of Worship).

      Here again we see it was Shakyamuni who revealed not only his immeasureable lifespan but that of his land. We didn't reveal our immeasureable lifespan or our land to Shakyamuni Buddha as the ingrates of the Soka Gakkai would have us believe. I can not forcefully enough denounce them.

      The Gohonzon is the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Life Span Chapter of the Lotus Sutra not the image of Daisaku Ikeda, your Chapter Chief or the High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu. We inherited the teachings from Shakyamuni Buddha. He did not inherit the teachings from us:

      "The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih- che gave three reasons for Shakyamuni’s stopping the bodhisattvas, and three more for his summoning the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Essentially, the great bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status and the great bodhisattvas who gathered from the other worlds were not qualified to inherit the “Life Span” chapter that reveals the eternal Buddha’s inner truth. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the correct teaching would fill the land, so Shakyamuni Buddha rejected the pledge of these bodhisattvas and instead summoned the multitude of great bodhisattvas from beneath the earth. He entrusted them with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, for the enlightenment of all beings in the land of Jambudvipa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha since the time he had first set his mind on and attained enlightenment in the remote past. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “[The Buddha said of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,] ‘These are my disciples, destined to propagate my Law.’ ” Miao-lo says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.”71 The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” states, “The Law embodied therein [in the Lotus Sutra] is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.” (True Object of Worship)

      continued....

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    18. "Again, in the second volume it says, “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.” And it speaks of “desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” These passages mean that only Shakyamuni Buddha can save and protect all living beings, and that one should wish to accept and uphold only the Lotus Sutra, and never even a verse from any other sutra." (Embracing the Lotus Sutra)

      It doesn't say to embrace the Ongi Kuden Sutra.

      "Question: Nonetheless, I urge you to answer. Unless you do, you will be guilty of the fault of greed and stinginess.

      Answer: Then since I have no choice, I will try to give you a brief explanation. The “Teacher of the Law” chapter states, “[Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world], how much more will this be so after his passing?” The “Life Span” chapter states, “I will leave this good medicine here.” The “Distinctions in Benefits” chapter speaks of “the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law.” The “Medicine King” chapter says, “In the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it [the Lotus Sutra] abroad widely throughout Jambudvipa.” A passage in the Nirvana Sutra reads, “Suppose that a couple has seven children, one of whom falls ill. Though the parents love all their children equally, they worry most about the sick child.”

      With the clear mirror of these passages one can guess the Buddha’s intent. They show that the Buddha did not appear for the sake of those present during the eight years when he revealed the Lotus Sutra at Eagle Peak, but for those who would come after him in the Former, Middle, and Latter Days of the Law. His advent was specifically for people like us, those living in the beginning of the Latter Day, not for those who lived in the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days. “The sick child” mentioned in the Nirvana Sutra represents those who slander the Lotus Sutra after the Buddha’s passing. The Buddha will now “leave this good medicine here” especially for those who, the sutra says, though the medicine is of excellent color and fragrance, do not perceive it as good." (True Object of Worship)

      The Buddha Shakyamuni's intent, not our intent. "I', Shakyamuni Buddha leave this good medicine here, not "I", my boddhi, nor "I" Daisaku Ikeda, nor even "I", Nichiren.

      Nichiren writes:

      Next, the teaching of the “Life Span” chapter is what I, Nichiren, personally depend on. Although T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo also understood it in a general way, they never put it into words or proclaimed it. The same is true of Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu. The verse section of the chapter states, “. . . singlemindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives.” As a result of this passage, I have revealed the Buddhahood in my own life. The reason is that it is this sutra passage that has enabled me to embody the Three Great Secret Laws, or the reality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, that is found in the “Life Span” chapter. But keep this secret, keep it secret." (Letter to Gijo-bo)

      continued....

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    19. "As a result of this passage" preached by Shakyamuni Buddha, Nichiren obtained Buddhahood. Nothing that Nichiren preached, let alone Daisaku Ikeda, enabled Shakyamuni to attain Buddhahood. How could it, Shakyamuni and not Nichiren Shonin or Daisaku ikeda is the Original Eternal Buddha.

      "During his first forty and more years of teaching, Shakyamuni Buddha kept secret the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. Not only that, he still remained silent concerning them when he preached the first fourteen chapters of the Lotus Sutra, which comprise the theoretical teaching. It was only with the “Life Span” chapter that he spoke openly regarding the two characters of renge, which [represent the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo and] indicate the true effect and the true cause.3 The Buddha did not entrust these five characters to Manjushri, Universal Worthy, Maitreya, Medicine King, or the others of their group. Instead he summoned forth the bodhisattvas Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, Pure Practices, and Firmly Established Practices and their followers from the great earth of Tranquil Light and transferred the five characters to them." (Rebuking Slander of the Law)

      Rebuking the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu slander of the Law is the practice of the disciples and believers of Nichire as distasteful as it may be. We do this for the sake of the people and the future generations so that they may not veer from the path of the Master of Teachings and Nichiren Daishonin.

      "Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, treasured this Gohonzon in his heart for numberless major world system dust particle kalpas, and even after he appeared in this world, he did not expound it until more than forty years after his first preaching. Even in the Lotus Sutra he did not allude to it in the earlier chapters of the theoretical teaching. He began things in the “Treasure Tower” chapter, he revealed it in the “Life Span” chapter, and he brought things to a close in the “Supernatural Powers” and “Entrustment” chapters." (Reply to Niiama)

      Neither David Kasahara nor Guy McCloskey revealed the Gohonzon. Shakyamuni Buddha not only expounded Namu Myoho renge kyo but revealed the Gohonzon.

      "In your declaration regarding sutra readings, you state: “From the morning when my compassionate father closed his eyes to the thirteenth anniversary of his passing, I have recited the verse section of the ‘Life Span’ chapter before Shakyamuni Thus Come One and have transferred the merits to the departed.”(Letter to Horen)

      continued....

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    20. Ongi Kuden:

      "The word ji [interpreted as the pronoun 'one' or 'one's'] marks the beginning of the Jigage section, and the word shin ['self' or 'body'] in 'quickly acquire the body of a Buddha' marks the end. It starts and ends with 'oneself,' and the words in between the 'receiving' and 'use' of this body. In other words, the Jigage section elucidates the 'self that is freely received and used,' or the Buddha of absolute freedom." (Gosho Zenshu p. 758-759)

      Nichiren disciple:

      "Pu-k’ung makes a number of other errors as well. Thus, in his translation The Rules of Rituals Based on the Lotus Sutra, which deals with the Lotus Sutra, he defines the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter as the Buddha Amida, an obvious and glaring mistake. He also claims that the “Dharani” chapter of the Lotus Sutra should follow immediately after the “Supernatural Powers” chapter and that the “Entrustment” chapter should come at the very end, views that are not even worth discussing.' (The Selection of the Time)

      The Soka Gakkai makes an equally glaring mistake in taking the above passage of the Ongi Kuden (general teaching) as the specific teaching, asserting that Nichiren and his disciples are the Buddha of the Juryo Chapter. How can the Treasure of the Sangha be confused with the treasure of the Buddha? Only in the topsy turvy worlds of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu.

      “...If there are those who possess differing ideas concerning the three treasures, then truly you should know that these people can no longer hope to take refuge in, or rely upon, the three pure treasures. They will never gain benefit from any of the precepts, and in the end, they will fail to obtain the fruits of the voicehearer, the cause-awakened one, or the bodhisattva.” This passage is clearly referring to [the essential point of ] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra..." (The Third Doctrine)

      "The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, who was present on Eagle Peak when the Lotus Sutra was preached and heard it in person, writes, “The word ‘this’ [of ‘This is what I heard’] indicates the essence of a doctrine heard from the Buddha.” And the Great Teacher Chang-an writes, “The transcriber [Chang-an] comments on T’ien-t’ai’s explanation of the title of the Lotus Sutra, saying, ‘Hence [his explanation of the title in] the preface conveys the profound meaning of the sutra. The profound meaning indicates the heart of the text.’ ” (Repaying Debts of Gratitude)

      continued....

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    21. "Heard from the Buddha' not Ikeda, Greg Martin, Nichinyo, or Nichikan.

      Nichiren admonishes those like Kobo who call Shakyamuni Buddha of the Lifespan Chapter an ordinary person:

      "In his Precious Key to the Secret Treasury he claims that the Shakyamuni Buddha of the ‘Life Span’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra is an ordinary person, and in his Comparison of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism he calls the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai a thief." (Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra)

      "The Great Teacher Kobo of Japan states, “The Lotus Sutra is inferior even to the Flower Garland Sutra, and so of course it cannot compare with the Mahavairochana Sutra.”4 He also says: “The Lotus Sutra was preached by Shakyamuni, while the Mahavairochana Sutra was preached by the Thus Come One Mahavairochana. These sutras were thus taught by two different Buddhas. In addition, the Thus Come One Shakyamuni is a mere messenger of the Thus Come One Mahavairochana. He preached the exoteric doctrines, which represent no more than the first step toward the esoteric doctrines.” And again he states: “The Buddha of the ‘Life Span’ chapter, which is the heart of the Lotus Sutra, is a Buddha in terms of the exoteric teachings; but from the point of view of the esoteric teachings, he is no more than a common mortal who is bound by and entangled in illusions and desire.” Letter to Shomitsu-bo

      The Soka Gakkai and the Ongi Kuden teach the same thing. "The Buddha of the Juryo Chapter, the Thus Come One, is "I, oneself", the common mortal entangled with the delusions of thoughts and desires who endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the Three Properties."

      I now admonish The Soka Gakkai as Nichiren Daishonin admonished Kobo (see the last two paragraphs of Part 1)

      "In the entire land of Jambudvipa, there has never before been a hall or pagoda that produced the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra." (The Unmatched Blessings of the Law)

      Please note it doesn't say an "image of Daisaku Ikeda, Guy McClowsky, or Danny Nagashima."

      The Ongi Kuden concludes:

      The culmination of this chapter is the attainment of Buddhahood in the remote past. 'Far distant past' means unmoving, uncreated in its original state. All in all, the ultimate [teaching] of the Juryo chapter does not lie in subjugating delusions one-by-one in order to attain enlightenment. You should realize that [the Juryo Chapter's] significance is to gain enlightenment as you are, remaining as the entity of a common mortal. (Gosho Zenshu p. 759)

      Let us never forget the Original Father, Teacher, and Sovereign, Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, without whom we could never attain Buddhahood."

      Nichiren Disciple:

      It would seem that in the very last sentence the author of this treatise became remorseful, so , in one final act of repentance, he reverses himself and expounds the True Teachings. I pray that the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu keep this in mind the next time they say, "Shakyamini Buddha and the Lotus Sutra have lost their power in Mappo.

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  6. The historical Shakyamuni and Nichiren are representations of the 3 body Tathagata (eternal original ancient Buddha) they are brothers in the Law that were a temporary embodiments of the 3 body Tathagata They have the same quality of enlightenment as in teacher, sovereign and parent but their mission was different according to time and place (mappo)

    "...Shakyamuni Buddha, within our minds, is an ancient Buddha without beginning, manifesting Himself in three bodies, he attained Buddhahood in the eternal past......(ibid. P.94)

    "Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future. He exists forever, throughout the past, present and future." (P.100)

    The eternal presence of the 3 body Tathagata that is existent in all life is the eternal original ancient Buddha that Shakyamuni and Nichiren were possessed by through their cultivation over lifetimes

    They have passed this awareness onto to us through the 10 world Gohonzon (permanent embodiment of the 3 body Tathagata) and teachings so that the eternal original ancient Buddha will come alive through the mutual possession of 10 worlds of ordinary mortals by cultivation as we are not fully cultivated Buddha's like Shakyamuni and Nichiren at this stage

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  8. Thanks Noel for an interesting and insightful post. May I ask if the J. Ongi Kuden is different to the SGI published Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings? If so, where can a copy be obtained and what is it's provenance?

    Your posting has got me thinking a lot about this. There are two themes that come out of that thinking, which I need to reflect on further. Firstly, I am struck by the similarity between the title 'One who has come' (which is in itself a new twist (to me anyway) on the often translated 'Thus come one') and a statement that recurs in the Sutra and its opening and closing sutras 'the knowledge (or wisdom) that comes of itself'. Secondly, these aspects as an emergent properties. Emergent properties are often described in systems thinking and practice and could be more useful than the often used 'ontological' or 'epistemological' classifications that are so beloved of Western academia.

    Of course, none of these are a substitute for faith and practice but I sometimes think that discussion and understanding can get needlessly muddled by some of the academic frameworks we try to describe things within. This seems very evident in connection with discussion of the various concepts of original enlightenment.

    I digress, but thanks for posting a thoughtful and thought provoking take on this matter. Much appreciated.

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